House addresses critical in enhancing response times |

House addresses critical in enhancing response times

Jason Kelley/Sierra Sun

In an effort to better respond to an emergency, Placer County has awarded a grant so each residence in the North Tahoe Fire Protection District can receive up to $25 toward new house numbers.

In North Tahoe, people only need their home address for gas, power and phone services, and all mail is received through the post office. Because people often do not pay much attention to their address, house numbering has taken a back seat, according to fire officials.

“Until there is an emergency in your life, your physical address doesn’t matter. It’s not critical to us here,” said Kelly Atchley, administrative assistant with the fire district.

Whether the emergency is a barbecue fire or a heart attack, time is of the essence, and unclear or mis-numbered houses only work against the clock, Atchley said.

“[This] helps us in fire or emergency medical services to find houses where these people are more efficiently,” said Todd Conradson, battalion chief with North Tahoe Fire District .

Last year in Placer County there were 1,783 calls for service, averaging to roughly 150 per month. With this demand for assistance, proper numbering can only contribute to better emergency response times, said Conradson.

Residents of Tahoe City, Dollar Hill, Cedar Flats, Carnelian Bay, Tahoe Vista, Kings Beach and the West Shore are eligible for house numbers at Northshore Hardware in Kings Beach or Truckee Tahoe Lumber in Tahoe City.

The Placer County code requires house numbers to be a minimum of three inches tall with reflectors, contrasted to the background, visible, legible and clearly posted on the front of the property.

The county board of supervisors recently approved the grant providing the funds to North Tahoe Fire. The only condition is a brief grant application form requiring physical address, name and phone number. The information will simply be used for tracking and address verification.

The grant is available through February 2007, which the fire district hopes to extend.

“We want to be able to find you,” Atchley said. “Seconds count.”

Any questions can be directed to Atchley at North Tahoe Fire 546-3434 or

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